You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them.
But should you…?
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, blames herself. She's not the only one. There isn't a single member of Billy's family that doesn't feel guilty. But the Wilkinsons are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn't until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.
Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.
A mother's instinct is never wrong. Or is it?
Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide…
What did I think?
Having previously read and enjoyed The Lie, I checked C.L. Taylor's new book out via e-book from my local library. I didn't find it as gripping as The Lie but each character has secrets that they are desperately trying to keep hidden, which guarantees that you keep wanting to turn the pages as quickly as you can.
Billy Wilkinson has gone missing and somebody must know what happened to him. The Wilkinson family are so completely flawed that, once you scratch the surface of their family life, you think any one of them could have harmed Billy or caused him to run away. Claire, Billy's mum, has blackouts and finds herself waking up in strange places seemingly looking for Billy - could she know more about his disappearance than she's letting on? Billy's Dad, Mark, is secretive and acting suspiciously - could Billy have found out what he's hiding and run away? Then there's Billy's brother, Jake, and Kira, his live-in girlfriend - they don't seem to have a great relationship for such a young couple.
Interspersed between all the action surrounding Billy's disappearance and the fractured Wilkinson family are intriguing Whatsapp messages. These messages tied my brain in knots as you have no idea who the people are in the conversation as they have used nicknames to hide their identity. Surely the sweet, innocent 15 year old Billy Wilkinson couldn't have written such messages? Is he a more troubled boy than his mother would have us believe?
The Missing proves that once again C.L. Taylor is not afraid to push the boundaries and move the reader out of their comfort zone. Life doesn't always have happy endings and I often feel like we are conditioned to look for unrealistic happy outcomes in our books, but with C.L. Taylor in the driving seat you can be sure to expect the unexpected. The Missing also reminded me that appearances can be deceptive and, although we may not consider ourselves two-faced, we often put on a front to hide our true feelings. Much is said, both good and bad, about social media and I wonder if perhaps it is through hiding our many faces behind a screen that we can truly be ourselves.
The Missing, being her third novel, certainly explains why there is so much excitement surrounding a new release from C.L. Taylor - you never know what her dark twisty mind will come up with next.
Buy it from Amazon